Act Quickly At First Signs Of Pneumonia Symptoms

GENERAL - When cattle start showing visible pneumonia symptoms they could well have been suffering from the adverse effects of the disease for two days.
calendar icon 28 February 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Studies in France with young beef bulls have confirmed the insidious nature of pneumonia and confirm the crucial need for farmers to act fast with proven antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment as soon as an animal presents obvious signs of infection.

“The studies show the pneumonia disease process is well underway before farmers are able to see any signs of illness. This makes it vital that farmers hit clinical pneumonia cases hard as soon as they can with a highly effective, rapid-acting combination treatment, such as Resflor, as prescribed by their vet,” stresses Paul Williams MRCVS, livestock veterinary adviser with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.

In the French experimental study, 112 young beef bulls aged between 7 and 11 months and split into 12 groups were observed during a 40-day period after arrival on three commercial units. Shortly after arrival, all the cattle were given an intra-ruminal bolus containing a temperature sensor. Data collected showed that the animals eventually treated for pneumonia – when the farmers detected visible signs of disease – had actually been suffering from a high temperature for 47 hours, on average, before the therapeutic action was initiated. Comparable levels of disease under-detection have also been observed in North American and South African feedlots.

“It’s clear that, on farm, it is often difficult to detect animals with respiratory disease early enough, so you are already on the back foot when you do start treating. But respiratory disease that is left undetected not only has a negative effect on cattle well-being, it also impacts significantly on their growth,” he warns.

The growth setback effect caused by lung damage has been highlighted in studies carried out in conjunction with Blade Farming. This work showed that pneumonia lung damage could be costing some cattle almost 74kg a year in lost lifetime growth potential. It’s a startling fact that led the company to review pneumonia treatment protocols on all their beef production units.

“The message is clear. As soon as you see a pneumonia case, act fast with proven combination treatment. Studies have demonstrated that Resflor reaches all areas of the lung within six hours of administration. Its use has also been shown to deliver 37 per cent less lung damage than treatment with antibiotic alone,” Paul Williams says.

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